Clearance, Red, Pinot Noir, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, WINE

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Pinot Noir is widely considered to produce some of the finest wines in the world, but is a difficult varietal to cultivate and vinify. The grape's tendency to produce tightly packed clusters makes it susceptible to several viticultural hazards, and the thin-skins and low levels of phenolic compounds result in mostly lightly colored, medium-bodied, low-tannin wines. The tremendously broad range of bouquets, flavors, textures and impressions that Pinot noir can produce lends to its overall popularity but also to its misunderstanding. In the broadest terms, the wine tends to display aromas reminiscent of black and/or red cherry, raspberry and to a lesser extent currant and many other fine small red and black berry fruits. Traditional Pinot Noir is famous for its savory fleshiness and 'farmyard' aromas, but changing fashions, modern winemaking techniques, and new easier-to-grow clones have favored a lighter, more fruit-prominent, cleaner style.

Like many other red varietals, the character of the wine depends heavily on where the grapes are grown and how they are vinified, and these distinctions are largely reflected in a New World/Old World dichotomy. The Burgundy region in France, Pinot Noir's place of origin, is renowned for producing the most complex, ageworthy, and esoteric versions. These can range from dark, brooding, densely tannic wines to light, ethereally elegant wines of intensely perfumed character. Fruit profiles often differ as well, but the common denominator in all Burgundy Pinot Noir is the essence of the place in which it grows, coined as the term terroir. The finest examples, after years of proper aging, display haunting aromas and flavors that defy description using refrences of common reference points. The grape has also found highly unique expression in the vineyards of Germany, where it's known as Spätburgund. From the steep slopes of the Ahr Valley to the rolling, pastorl hills of the Pfalz, the country is producing wines with notably vibrant fruit and deep savory character, but also a rugged edge in which the stamp of terroir is also evident.

New World styles of Pinot Noir also vary in their specifics, but in general they are built on a bright, expressive fruit profile. California has several regions that excel with the varietal, most famously the Sonoma Coast AVA and its sub-AVA Russian River Valley. The wines typically display exuberant red cherry and strawberry notes along with the occasional savory spice elements. While these are cool climates by New World standards, Pinot Noir still achieves more consistent ripeness and more viscosity and body as a result. The AVAs of Santa Barbara County also produce outstanding versions with more concentrated savory profile, while Mendocino County's wines tend toward the dark-fruited, earthy profile. Oregon's Willamette Valley is perhaps the most old school of the New WOrld profiles, where fruit is less pronounced and an herbacious forest floor component imparts a touch of terroir on the wines. Perhaps the most exciting New World Pinot Noir wines are now coming from New Zealand, where the Central Otago and Martinborough regions are producing wines of dark fruit character with essentially cool-climate structure and texture, an intriguing, if non-traditional, combination.

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90-93 points Antonio Galloni (Vinous): The 2013 Corton La Vigne au Saint is a relatively soft, supple wine for the year. Sweet rose petal, mint, berries, wild flowers and cherries are all given an extra touch of finesse from the silky tannins. Here it is the wine's delicacy that stands out. Drink:… ...
AG 90-93
AM 89-92
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Domaine des Croix Corton La Vigne au Saint 2013  (#327539)

Pinot Noir from Aloxe-Corton, Côtes de Beaune, Burgundy, France

90-93 points Antonio Galloni (Vinous): The 2013 Corton La Vigne au Saint is a relatively soft, supple wine for the year. Sweet rose petal, mint, berries, wild flowers and cherries are all given an extra touch of finesse from the silky tannins. Here…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 1 available
AG 90-93
AM 89-92
$119.95
$145.00
Save $25.05 (17%)145.00
Save $25.05 (17%)
94 points Jeb Dunnuck: The 2015 Pinot Noir Lester Family Vineyard saw a touch of destemming (there’s 70% stems) and was brought up in 25% new French oak. Its medium ruby color is followed by terrific notes of red currants, raspberries, spice and underbrush aromas and flavors. Lightly textured,… ...
JD 94
AG 93
WE 93
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Big Basin Pinot Noir Santa Cruz Mountains Lester Family Vyd. 2015  (#332735)

Pinot Noir from Santa Cruz Mountains, California

94 points Jeb Dunnuck: The 2015 Pinot Noir Lester Family Vineyard saw a touch of destemming (there’s 70% stems) and was brought up in 25% new French oak. Its medium ruby color is followed by terrific notes of red currants, raspberries, spice and…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 9 available
JD 94
AG 93
WE 93
$44.95
$55.00
Save $10.05 (18%)55.00
Save $10.05 (18%)
93 points & 'Editor's Choice', Wine Enthusiast: Coming from a singular vineyard along the Mendocino coast, this wine has smoky savory flavors that complement the just-ripe fruit flavors and give a truly maverick but easy-to-enjoy personality. It is medium bodied, velvet textured, and has good… ...
WE 93
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Waits-Mast Pinot Noir Mendocino County Oppenlander Vineyard 2014  (#330333)

Pinot Noir from Mendocino, North Coast, California

93 points & 'Editor's Choice', Wine Enthusiast: Coming from a singular vineyard along the Mendocino coast, this wine has smoky savory flavors that complement the just-ripe fruit flavors and give a truly maverick but easy-to-enjoy personality. It is…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 12 available
$34.95
$45.00
Save $10.05 (22%)45.00
Save $10.05 (22%)
92 points Antonio Galloni (Vinous): Keenan's 2014 Merlot is a very pretty wine that shows the more translucent side of Merlot. Lifted, bright and articulate, the 2014 offers lovely finesse in its red-toned fruit and floral aromatics. I would prefer to drink the 2014 sooner rather than later given… ...
AG 92
W&S 90
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Keenan Merlot Napa Valley 2014  (#332576)

Merlot from Napa Valley, California

92 points Antonio Galloni (Vinous): Keenan's 2014 Merlot is a very pretty wine that shows the more translucent side of Merlot. Lifted, bright and articulate, the 2014 offers lovely finesse in its red-toned fruit and floral aromatics. I would prefer…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 2 available
$31.95
$42.00
Save $10.05 (24%)42.00
Save $10.05 (24%)
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